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Aboriginal Australia

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by

Anabel Lo

on 16 February 2013

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Transcript of Aboriginal Australia

To the Others

You once smiled a friendly smile,
Said we were kin to one another,
Thus with guile for a short while
Became to me a brother.

Then you swamped my way of gladness,
Took my children from my side,
Snapped shut the law book, oh my sadness
At Yirrakalas’ plea denied.

So, I remember Lake George hills,
The thin stick bones of people.
Sudden death, and greed that kills,
That gave you church and steeple.

I cry again for Warrarra men,
Gone from kith and kind,
And I wondered when I would find a pen
To probe your freckled mind.

I mourned again for the Murray tribe,
Gone too without a trace.
I thought of the soldier’s diatribe,
The smile on the governor’s face.

You murdered me with rope, with gun
The massacre of my enclave,
You buried me deep on McLarty’s run
Flung into a common grave.

You propped me up with Christ, red tape,
Tobacco, grog and fears,
Then disease and lordly rape
Through the brutish years.

Now you primly say you’re justified,
And sing of a nation’s glory,
But I think of a people crucified -
The real Australian story. Subject matter The main idea of this poem is to explain the relationship between Aboriginal Australians and white Australians. Throughout the poem, Davis, shares about how the white Australians treated the Aboriginals; 'the real Australian story'. Purpose The purpose of this poem is to show how badly white settlers treated the Aboriginals and to also explain what life was like before white Australian settlement. Emotion Many different types of emotion has been expressed throughout the poem. Emotions such as sadness, grief, annoyance and anger. All have an important meaning in the poem. Stanza 1 Is about how well everyone got along together; everyone seemed happy and glad to have each others company, this is shown when it says 'Became to me a brother'. Stanza 2 The mood immediately changes in stanza two, as all sorts of bad things happen. This is the part when the Aboriginals feel betrayed by the white Australians. Stanza 3 'So, I remember...', was the first few words of the third stanza, this shows he is thinking back to the past events. It also talks about the starvation that is occurring as it says, 'the thin stick bones of people'. In conclusion to that, he mentions about how the white Australians took their land and gained power. Stanza 4 In this stanza he grieves over another tribe and how they just disappeared without a trace. In my opinion, when he says 'I wondered when I would find a pen, to probe your freckled mind', I think he means, that he wished that he could write about what the white Australians were thinking when they attacked the tribes. When it says 'probe your freckled mind', it means that he wants to investigate the white settlers frazzled mind. Stanza 5 Davis mourned for the Murray tribe, as they too were slaughtered, by the white settlers. He also thought of when the soldiers attacked and how there was a 'smile on the Governor's face', showing that he was pleased with what he has done to the tribe. Stanza 6 'You murdered me', this part of the poem seems to be associating Davis to his family, as it seems that his family is a big part of his life. Rope and gun have been used to be expressed as the murder weapons that killed his people. Stanza 7 At the beginning of the stanza, it refers to 'Christ', this shows that Davis might have been a Christian. Next to that sentence, it says 'red tape, tobacco, grog and fears', this shows that the white settlers might have tortured the Aboriginals with these 4 things. 'Brutish years', meant that this kind of torture has been going on for a long time. Stanza 8 The very last stanza talks about the present as it says, 'Now you primly say your justified', this sentence tells the people now, of what had happened to the Indigenous Australians. The very last sentence expresses how the white settlers have been telling false stories about their nation; telling their own side of the story. Davis wrote this poem to tell people about his side of the story. Structure 'You once smiled a friendly smile,
Said we were kin to one another,
Thus with guile for a short while
Became to me a brother.'

'Then you swamped my way of gladness,
Took my children from my side,
Snapped shut the law book, oh my sadness
At Yirrakalas’ plea denied.' Poem Analysis By: Heather Kendrick and Anabel Lo Aboriginal Australia
By: Jack Davis Language Imagery Movement Sounds S.L.I.M.S. Code -The first verse talks about how the white settlers and the Aboriginals became really close and got along really well, then suddenly the mood changes when verse two begins. After the first verse, all the other verses after that, talk about how the white settlers betrayed the Aboriginals. -There are 4 lines in one stanza containing 3-8 words per line. This gives the poem flow and direction as to where the story is heading. - Each sentence is reasonably short which give direct understanding as to what the sentence is trying to explain. -He uses deep, strong and meaningful words 'Took my children from my side'
'Sudden death, and greed that kills' -Davis used some slang and old English words; to take the audience back to the past, to give them more of an idea about the time period in which he suffered in. 'Kith, thus and guile'
'Grog' -The style of the poem is very depressing and serious yet powerful and emotional at the same time. 'Disease and lordly rape'
'Swamped my way of gladness' -Throughout the poem, Davis talks a lot about Christ and death, this gives a very compelling illustration as they are very descriptive and detailed. 'You propped me up with Christ, red tape'
'You murdered me with rope, with gun' -Davis mentions how others were killed and were dying out, he used a metaphor to describe the appearance of those who were suffering from starvation. -He uses personification in a very interesting way to describe starvation 'The thin stick bones of people' 'Greed that kills' -Each stanza ends with a rhyming word; alternate lines rhyme: A,B,A,B. 'I mourned again for the Murray Tribe,
Gone too without a trace,
I thought of the soldiers' diatribe,
The smile on the Governor's face.' -The whole poem is upbeat with the exception of stanza one; which is slow and peaceful'. This gives the poem a interesting rhythm. 'You once smiled a friendly smile,
Said we were kin to one another,
Thus with guile for a short while
Became to me a brother.'

'Then you swamped my way of gladness,
Took my children from my side,
Snapped shut the law book, oh my sadness
At Yirrakalas’ plea denied.' -Davis sense of alliteration isn't always that obvious, this makes the poem more intriguing. ' I wondered when I would find a pen'
'Snapped shut the lawbook...' -Only one onomatopoeia is present in the poem, it gives the sentence depth and flashes before your very eyes 'Snapped...' Judgements 1. This poem has shown that Aboriginals went through a really tough time losing family and friends, and being betrayed by the white settlers, who at first treated them like family.
2. It was really interesting to read from a different point of view, and to know that the Aboriginals were peaceful and didn't retaliate against the white Australians.
3. Davis, finally got his point through in a poem, talking about the truth, meaning the 'Real Australian Story'. Thank You !
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